This week, one of Dan Savage’s Letter of the Day winners struck a particular nerve for me. As you will see, this man is writing in about how his wife has a chronic condition that causes her pain and, as a result, he doesn’t find the pain to be a turn on and their sex life is suffering. He then goes on to say what a generous lover he is and how much of the other tasks of life he has had to take on because of her condition in an attempt, of sorts, to get us on his side, so to speak.
Though he comes off as an awful man in this letter and in many ways he likely is, there is a part of me that does understand where he is coming from and how one small thing, you know, like debilitating pain, can change the sexual attractiveness of one’s partner, from both sides I suspect.
There is a second part to this regarding some old cock sucking pictures of hers which he’s being a complete twat about, so for the sake of this post, we are just going to talk to the first part.
Dan responds lighter to this guy than I would have expected but left it to the commenters to really skewer him. And, as commenters often do, they did.
For the newbies here, my husband, Axel, had a massive surgery five months ago that was a replacement replacement for an infected 3 year old metal on metal hip implant along with the partial replacement of his femur bone and an additional nine 7″ screws directly into his sternum. To do this, they had to make a significant incision through all of the thigh and hip muscles and all of this together left him with a pretty long recovery period, of which he is still in. This letter hit home for me in multiple ways because, I realized that I could be that guy and, I will fully admit, there have been a few times when I have had to get a small level of something akin too resentment in check because whatever has happened to our sex life, and, to be fair, our regular life, because of this is certainly not Axel’s fault.
But, to the letter writer, I get it. Things are different and, like him, I am completely turned off by Axel’s pain – though admittedly no more so than Axel himself is – and the idea of knowing that he is going to be hurting more because I want sex is enough to make me not want it at all. It’s funny, I have gotten used to the fact that he’s going to hurt if we go to dinner or if he’s cooking or if he’s running an errand or _________, and I am getting used to that and no longer try to jump up and shield him because I realize that he has to move and do things and that me trying to save him only sets him back.
With sex, it’s different because it’s like my mind sees that as optional in some ways and the idea that I will make him hurt more or that, God forbid, I hurt him more, just makes the dick go soft right there because, for me, my pleasure is not worth his pain (which is so funny because with Thumper my pleasure IS his pain- right???). Could one say I am less attracted to him now because of that? Maybe, but it’s not that type of non attraction that is anything more than temporary and I liken it to the time in 2000 when we were going on a trip (ironically to the same place we are now) and he showed up at home the day before with platinum blond highlights in his dark hair looking like he had just driven a Camaro with T-tops to Miss Truvy’s Salon and said “make me look trashy”. THAT went away quickly and I know this one will as well.
That’s just regular sex, but when you add in any type of additional BDSM element, it complicates things more so in my head that really causes more and more pushing and pulling in my brain about whether that fun or that reality is even worth the trouble. It’s a thought I have not really wanted to face and have been easily able to say that work had me busy and I didn’t have to think about it, but now I can’t hide that any more and wonder if we just officially pause any kinky activity so he can focus solely on his recovery though, of course, that is counter balanced by the fact that this might be our new reality and, if so, we just should figure a way to make it work. I think these things have led to me not posting as much because thinking is hard and nothing with this is an easy fix, so why write about it?
BUT, while I did relate to the man in the letter, I am very happy to say I am not that man in the letter but thank Dan for posting it because it certainly was a wake up call, of sorts, to me that I cannot ever allow myself to because him. Axel’s recovery is no where near done but with realistic sights I believe he and I can make it work, though I do have to have the sex talk with him because, I suspect, my fear of making him hurt is translating to him feeling unwanted sexually and I have not really realized that in such a frank way as in the last two minutes I have been typing this. For that, I will do better for sure.
One more thing though, to the man in the letter, I also realize that my husband’s issue can and will get better and that doesn’t seem to be the case for you, so that makes me feel your pain even more and makes me understand why you would write what you wrote. That said, I do hope you get some professional help for you, as this is going to be a long road ahead.
So, no real revelation here aside from yet again being thankful to Mr. Savage for showing me there are always people in the world far more fucked up than me.